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Now playing on Sundance Channel: Avoid Europe at all costs

I’ve got these neighbors who love “cycling holidays”. They go to different parts of Europe and pretty much spend ten days doing their own little Tour de France, or wherever. They love it because they get to see “the real countryside” and stay at little farms and inns while burning off all of the crazy food and wine they consume. Well, guess what. That sounds like real trouble to me, especially after I watched all of this week’s “now playing” contenders. This week, Sundance Channel is taking you to the mountains of old Europe, the bars of Austin, Texas and Tokyo, Japan. Give what you’re about to see, I’m going to stay right here…and maybe plan a trip to Tokyo.

I like to get ready for the weekend with a little revenge cinema, and tonight’s Thriller Thursday selection, RED WHITE AND BLUE fits the bill:

And if that trailer wasn’t thrilling enough, I suggest you check out the festival version. Eeek! Director Simon Rumley (THE LIVING AND THE DEAD) utilizes three different points of view to explore the kindness of strangers…and its underside. What starts out as a character study of Erica (Amanda Fuller), who seems to use sex to dull her emotions, turns into a brutal thriller after she opens up to a mysterious guy who actually shows her some affection (Noah Taylor).
RED WHITE AND BLUE tonight at 9P

Too scared to go to bed (and, ummm, it’s still pretty early)? Stick around for SHADOW:


Shadow (2009) Trailer by lidystopia

Poor David! When he was serving in Iraq all he wanted to do was get on his mountain bike and ride. So that’s what he did once it was all over. He headed to the mountains of Europe and hit the trails. Unfortunately, he wound up abducted. And tortured. The army prepares you for a lot, but it does not prepare you for demonic freaks who lick frogs and play with scythes. Or…maybe it does? You’ll have to watch to find out.
SHADOW tonight at 11P

Valinetine’s Day is well behind us (next up, Memorial Day), but the man in charge still thinks I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY is worth a watch this week. Why? Because independent filmmaking is all about taking risks and calling your own shots:


I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY Saturday at 8P

I’ve got a short attention span, so I really love anthology films. In TOKYO!, three (non-Japanese) directors take on the Japanese capital:

Michel Gondry (lots of quirky things you like) tells the story of one young couple struggling to make it in the the big city. Times are tough. So tough, of one them turns into a chair! Then, Leos Carax (BOY MEETS GIRL) brings us the story of a subterranean shit monster scaring the crap out of Tokyo’s residents. Finally, Korean director Bong Joon-ho turns Tokyo inside out by exposing us to a hikkomori, or young shut-in. Apparently, there are about 700,00 young(ish) men hiding out in their parents’ basements around Japan (it’s strange that we don’t have a word for that apart from ‘online gamer’). Well, there is obviously more to the story than that when our hero falls for his pizza delivery girl (literally–there is an earthquake) and has to take to the streets to find her.
TOKYO! Wednesday at 8P